Giant Clam Health

Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
I am very interested in getting info on what healthy clams should look like and what conditions must be provided for a healthy unit.

Kanga posted this:

"Also the Clam does not look that happy either:( and it would be difficult to provide enough lighting and stable enough water parameters for it in a nano (not impossible just very difficult)"
Quinton's new (and somewhat empty) Nano - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

Please expand.
 

jacquesb

Retired Moderator
Joined
29 May 2007
Posts
17,868
Reaction score
71
Location
Cape Town
Warr - just my opinion on this, though - I now have 2 x clams - and so far they are both growing (the one only started showing grow new, as I have only had it for about 3 weeks)....

My opinion is as follows:
- as long as the mantle does not show discoloration, tears, clear open wounds, etc - I think that these are some of the "signs" of bad health
- also: if the "mouth" is not extremely gaping (MUCH bigger than normal) - then this could (according to me) be interpreted as healthy or not healthy

Clams generically require the following to survive (once again - according to me):
= good enough water quality (not too high nitrates/phosphates)
= high calcium levels
= enough POC's in the water (particulate compounds) to "feed" the clam/s -as they are filter feeders - they require filter food (NOT TARGET FED!)
= strong enough light to allow the zooxanthellae in the mantle to generate enough "energy" for the clam to live/survive

Just my opinions/2 cents worth...
 
Joined
10 Jun 2007
Posts
1,783
Reaction score
10
Location
durban,kloof
i found that my clams picked up amazing colours when i had i phosphates and nitrates.
this could be due to them making use of these?
 
Joined
10 Jun 2007
Posts
1,783
Reaction score
10
Location
durban,kloof
so we shouldnt have to many clams in a system as they may consume all the avaliable nutrients quicker than they become avaliable. is this true or am i being to drastic?
 
Joined
5 Oct 2007
Posts
1,607
Reaction score
14
Location
Cape Town
Think you are being a bit drastic. I suppose it will depend on the size of the system, still they will have to be huge and plenty.
 
Joined
22 Jan 2008
Posts
12,223
Reaction score
162
Location
Lilliehammer, Norway
i have a big tank, i have lots of algae can i have some clams?? (ok i am teasing I know thelights, water etc is no where near ready) but the idea of something so beautiful making life for algae harder is very attractive:)
 

jacquesb

Retired Moderator
Joined
29 May 2007
Posts
17,868
Reaction score
71
Location
Cape Town
Hi Crispin - IF you have the rest of the formula correct, then YES. I actually read of some people who "use" clams as biological filtration systems. Because they break down POC's by "using it as food", before POC's can actually break down to nutrients.

And YES - I am quite sure that clams will also use dissolved nutrients in the water as well (just like any other invertebrate in the tank, ie. anemone's, corals, shrimps, crabs, etc....)
 

Kanga

Retired Moderator
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
4,576
Reaction score
23
Location
In the Koeberg blast radius
You guys are hundred percent right about them using/filtering Phosphates and nitrates the same as algae, however I reckon in all but the most well maintained nano's there should be any clams, first off lighting is a problem (Crocea needs slightly less I believe)
But Maxima and Squamosa need more lighting.
Secondly water parameters generally not stable enough in most nanos, (not talking about Nitrate and Phos here) Mostly Calcium and Alk as clam consume these very fast, also I believe they would not tolerate Ammonia or Nitrite


p.s. Alfie that clam in your avatar looks stunning:thumbup:
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Retired Moderator
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
4,576
Reaction score
23
Location
In the Koeberg blast radius
Also I forgot to mention, Clams take a very long time to die, so the fact that a clam has lived for a few months in a tank does not mean it is happy.

I have seen Clams in an LFS tank where corals died in a week but clams took 8 months to die:(
 

jacquesb

Retired Moderator
Joined
29 May 2007
Posts
17,868
Reaction score
71
Location
Cape Town
Thanks Kanga! That's a VERY good point! I must say - my 1st clam is now more than a year old, and has grown just about 5cm in this time! My second one is now 3 weeks "old" (in my tank, that is).... And as far as I know, it looks happy...
 

Kanga

Retired Moderator
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
4,576
Reaction score
23
Location
In the Koeberg blast radius
Thanks Kanga! That's a VERY good point! I must say - my 1st clam is now more than a year old, and has grown just about 5cm in this time! My second one is now 3 weeks "old" (in my tank, that is).... And as far as I know, it looks happy...
Jacques, I think the rule of thumb is this, if they are growing they are doing well, slow/no growth would normally indicate poor health/dying

So the fact that you have growth means it OK:thumbup: lets have a :peroni:
 
Joined
7 Feb 2008
Posts
691
Reaction score
5
Location
centurion
i have a clam in my jbj nano (pics in my thread [NCE] Shans nano - Marine Aquariums of South Africa ) and it is doing fantastic under the T5s. i do target feed it marine snow or coral frenzy once a week just to ensure it gets enough.

besides what is mentioned above, i have been told that it shows its sick when it does not retract its mantel when you put off the light or cover it.

also, a few weeks ago it ejected its foot but grew a new one to get a better hold
 

viper357

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
29,883
Reaction score
1,404
In my opinion, 3 of the best 'living' filters you could have in your system are clams, aiptasia and sponges.

If I had the space I would add on 3 additional tanks to my system, one of them would be full of clams, the other would be full of aiptasia and the last would be in the dark to grow sponges.
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
Jacques, I think the rule of thumb is this, if they are growing they are doing well, slow/no growth would normally indicate poor health/dying

So the fact that you have growth means it OK:thumbup: lets have a :peroni:
OK, what is consider growth - 1mm every year ?
 

viper357

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
29,883
Reaction score
1,404
Different species of clams grow at different growth rates, it's also dependent on your water.

Squamosa clams are a lot faster growing than the maxima for example, they get really big too.
 

viper357

Admin
Joined
4 May 2007
Posts
29,883
Reaction score
1,404
You can see if your clam is growing by looking at the top of it's shell, underneath the mantle, you will see growth there in the form of new clean white shell.
 

Top